T.K. Wetherell, Florida State's president, had a news conference Tuesday to talk about the appeal. It was smooth sailing for the first 33 minutes until somebody mentioned Bowden's chase to become the most victorious coach in major college football. Bowden currently trails Joe Paterno by one victory, but the NCAA wants to strip 14 from Bowden's total.
In addition, Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi wrote last Saturday that Bowden really didn't deserve the winningest title, considering 31 of his victories came at tiny Division I-AA Howard College (now Samford).
Wetherell went "loopy" at the mere mention of somebody questioning Bowden's victory total.
"Now, we understand all the rest of it. We’ve heard Bianchi over there saying, well hell, 31 wins don’t count anyway because they were at some dipshit school..."
Nearly everybody laughed and Wetherell paused, noticing the mortified look on faces of university officials, according to Andrew Carter of the Sentinel.
"I’m sorry, Lee," Wetherell said to Lee Hinkle, vice president for university relations. "I got wound up."
But Wetherell was just getting started, illustrating his disdain for the NCAA's case against the Seminoles by using a hypothetical story involving Florida's Tim Tebow.
"I mean, I figured out how to beat Florida," Wetherell said. "I told them the other day — I've got the deal, man. I got the deal. We're going to send a graduate assistant down to write a [paper] for Tebow, and go ahead and turn it in.
"And then we're not going to tell anybody, until about the 15th of August. And we're going to say, Oh, by the way, look what happened. Urban [Meyer] doesn't know anything about this — he's not involved. And the letter according to the NCAA — you think a violation occurred, not that it did occur, you think it occurred, you've got to sit him.
"Well, we've got the proof, we've the [paper], we've got the one he turned in, we've got the one the graduate assistant [did]. He violated the rules. He's ineligible ... now, they can redshirt him next year, and they may need to do that because they're going to need a quarterback, anyway, in two years and that may not be a bad idea. But — that's just not right. I mean, it's just not right. That's what's the problem — it's just flat wrong."
According to Carter, Frank Murphy, the university's lead spokesman, then rose from his chair and told Wetherell that it was time to end the news conference.
Bianchi was on hand for the day's events and questioned way Wetherell didn't offer to give up additional scholarships or forfeit Florida State's television revenue for a year in exchange for the victories.
"This isn't Monopoly," Wetherell said. "We're not trading the Electric Company for Park Place or Boardwalk."
Bianchi wrote that the university president is taking the wrong approach: "If FSU wants Bobby's victories back then T.K. Wetherell should quit being a dipstick and pay the price."